World Bank 2.0: Taking the development agenda to the next level

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Editor's Note: Oleg Petrov coordinates the e-Development Thematic Group, a knowledge sharing initiative and community of practice hosted by the Global ICT Department of the World Bank Group.

Today's development landscape is quite different from 10-15 years ago. Rapid adoption of the Internet, mobile devices, social media and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) in even the remotest areas have changed the world forever and opened new horizons for maximizing development impact in all sectors. The Development 1.0 paradigm - based on limited, fragmented access to information and opportunities and a supply-driven, top-down model of development - needs to be replaced with a brand new demand-driven and bottom-up paradigm. This is where Development 2.0 comes in, a paradigm based on the potentially unlimited, ubiquitious and one-stop access to development for all that is becoming possible thanks to ICT.

This time of crisis is an opportune moment for taking a pause and rethinking, reinventing and rebooting the development agenda for the digital age. An ICT-enabled transformation will affect every aspect of development, every strategy, program and project. This transformation is not really about technology (ICT) but about people (change management agenda) and processes (reform agenda), which work best as a holistic package. This strategic triangle of people, processes and technology will not work unless it is fueled by the leadership factor at every level, starting from the very top. The development community needs to rethink and reinvent the way we have been doing business by taking full advantage of the new opportunities enabled by ICT and raising the development agenda to the next level, Development 2.0, as a next generation development paradigm.

As a leading development institution, the World Bank Group could show the way for the development community as a whole in adopting the next generation development model, Development 2.0. To achieve this, it needs to transform itself first into a next generation institution, World Bank 2.0. This transformation includes reinventing internal operations of the Bank in the context of the Internet, Web 2.0 and the mobile revolution (which is already well under way) but, most importantly, strategically mainstreaming ICT as a transformational tool for everything we do in frontline operations, in each of the Bank regions, sectors and thematic areas. That will include major process re-engineering and comprehensive change management efforts, and these cannot succeed without dedicated leadership at every level.


Oleg Petrov

Senior Digital Development Specialist, World Bank

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